Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Get Up Stand Up

Won't you help me sing these songs of freedom?
(Bob Marley - Redemption Song)

Rubbish -
doesn't do justice to
cricket in the W Indies at all
Films about cricket are few and far between.  They have to be treasured.  But even though this newly released film is ostensibly about cricket in the West Indies, it is unlikely that Fantasy Bob will rush to see Pirates of the Caribbean.  This so-called film stars Johnny Depp as Viv Richards and, in what appears to Fantasy Bob as a peculiar piece of casting, Penelope Cruz as Clive Lloyd, and tells the story of how cricket in the West Indies came to dominate the world game with profound impact on racial politics of the late 20th Century. Parallels are drawn with the music of Bob Marley.   For some reason that FB doesn't quite understand, much of the action takes place at sea on a big sailing boat and very few of the players wear whites.  Geoffrey Boycott, or is it Geoffrey Rush, it is hard to tell under the make up, makes a cameo appearance tutoring Malcolm Marshall on how not to stutter during his run up.  In the words of the critics, this film is rubbish.

Piracy on the high seas
There is another film on the rounds. Fire in Babylon is about a crew of piratical cricketers seeking the Fountain of Youth to make sure their fast bowlers do not fade.   Unlikely special effects dominate this film particularly Michael Holding's so called greatest over in Test history,  bowled in 1981 to Geoffrey Boycott, or was it Geoffrey Rush? The first five balls increased in pace, causing Boycott/Rush to jump around the crease before the final ball clean bowled him. Otehr special effects include Curtley Ambrose's 7 for 1 against Australia and Gordon Greenidge's 214* at Lords in 1984 as the tale unfolds of how these pirates read the treasure map, found how X marked the spot just short of a length to secure world domination.   This is all completely unbelievable and FB wishes movie moguls would get a grip and make movies about real life, real people and real achievements.  What about the West Indian cricket team and what they did in the 1970-80s?  That would be a good subject. But this film is must see for lovers of pirate tales, fast bowling, cavalier batting and the underdog.

FB is happy for the music of Bob Marley to get a bit more exposure.  Marley is one of the greats as his averages clearly show.  FB visited Jamaica to speak at a conference a long time ago.  He recalls visiting the Bob Marley museum in uptown Kingston.  In the final room there was a wax work of the man himself - this could only be put on view to the public for an hour a day such was the risk of it melting in the heat.  Even in effigy Bob Marley is the epitome of cool. 

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds...............

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